What’s the great conjunction or ‘Christmas Star’?

An expert shares how to view the great conjunction in the sky on December 21, and how the astrological event got dubbed the "Christmas Star."

Michigan State • futurity
Dec. 17, 2020 ~7 min

space planets religion holidays stars featured science-and-technology

China's Chang'e-5 Moon mission set for Earth return

A capsule carrying samples of lunar rock and dust is due to land in Inner Mongolia.

Dec. 16, 2020 ~4 min

china space-exploration china-moon-mission the-moon

Capella delivers super sharp satellite radar pictures

US start-up Capella is in the vanguard of companies changing the way satellites see the Earth.

Dec. 16, 2020 ~4 min

engineering astronomy space-exploration earth-observation

Hayabusa-2: Pieces of an asteroid found inside space capsule

Scientists in Japan open the Hayabusa-2 space capsule that landed just over a week ago.

Dec. 15, 2020 ~3 min

space-exploration hayabusa-2

Weird exoplanet looks like a cousin of ‘Planet Nine’

An exoplanet 336 light years from Earth has a resemblance to the hypothetical "Planet Nine" of our own solar system, researchers say.

Robert Sanders-UC Berkeley • futurity
Dec. 14, 2020 ~10 min

space exoplanets planets stars science-and-technology

SpaceX Starship prototype exploded, but it's still a giant leap towards Mars

Starship's groundbreaking design will help it land safely on Mars one day.

Hugh Hunt, Reader in Engineering Dynamics and Vibration, University of Cambridge • conversation
Dec. 14, 2020 ~6 min

engineering mars moon space-exploration spacex rocket-science aerodynamics

Space tourism: Virgin space plane set for first crewed flight

Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic embarks on the first crewed flight of its rocket-powered tourist plane.

Dec. 12, 2020 ~3 min

space-exploration virgin-galactic richard-branson commercial-space-travel

New model could explain icy blast from Jupiter’s moon

A new model could reveal the origins of a hypothesized cryovolcanic eruption on Jupiter's moon Europa and other icy bodies in the solar system.

Danielle Torrent Tucker-Stanford • futurity
Dec. 11, 2020 ~8 min

space water jupiter science-and-technology moons europa

Why is the sun’s atmosphere hotter than its surface?

A phenomenon first detected in the solar wind may help solve a mystery about the sun: why the solar atmosphere is millions of degrees hotter than the surface.

Mike Williams-Rice • futurity
Dec. 11, 2020 ~8 min

physics space temperature plasma sun science-and-technology

'Dog kennel' satellite returns first ocean observations

The new Sentinel satellite to track global sea-level rise is in excellent shape, say space officials.

Dec. 10, 2020 ~4 min

earth-science climate-change space-exploration oceans european-space-agency earth-observation